May 28, 2012
“The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity” –“The Second Coming”, William Butler Yeats
Yeats’ lines aptly describe our current age of political mediocrity. As we consider our politicians, we can hardly say that they’re our best. And the worst of them are full of passionate intensity, with passions driven by ideology, rather than fact-based analysis.
The United States has been in decline relative to other countries for the last 30 years. On key metrics, we’ve fallen behind our peer group of industrialized countries, such as the UK, France, Germany, and Japan.
Am I exaggerating? Well, according to the Corruption Perception Index, we rank 24th in the world (only slightly better than Qatar) for public sector corruption. We rank 25th (way behind our peer group) in the OECD for math scores among 15-year-olds.
Over the past 30 years, our national debt has grown from about 30 percent of GDP to about 100 percent, and will become much worse based on current trends. In a recent survey of 10,000 Harvard Business School Alumni, “66 percent of respondents see the U.S. falling behind emerging economies.” It is difficult to find many encouraging metrics.
If the above statistics don’t convince you, visit the New Delhi International Airport, then compare it with our JFK or Newark International Airports. In many areas, our infrastructure is an embarrassment, already inferior to that of many third world countries.
These facts (and many others) have escaped Romney, Santorum and our current group of Republican leaders. Obama and the Democrats aren’t doing significantly better at confronting these challenges.
This article was posted: Monday, May 28, 2012 at 3:21 am